Finding a job while you are studying in a foreign country might be quite tough, especially if it´s a country where you don’t speak the language. We all know that there are a lot of difficulties. The following suggestions might help you to have a better idea of what to look for if you are searching for a job whilst studying, I call them “survival” jobs.
I know, some of you might hate it, but Facebook is a quite a good place to look for a job. Your friends or friends of friends might post a job opening. There are various job groups out there, some are not even job groups, but people still post there, so keep an eye on those. If you have a good network, write a post yourself, that your are looking for a student job and with a little luck you might find something.
Another way to find a job is by talking to people in various places. Ask your classmates where you are studying, school officials (don’t be shy to ask if they have a student position or they heard something regarding a job), go to different events ( this is also one of the best ways to network).
The CV is obviously one of your most important tools and you must use it correctly. At the beginning I sent a lot of CV’s without any luck due to the fact that I didn’t do any preparations. Later I found out that it was badly formulated and after some changes I started to receive replies to my emails, even though replies were mainly negative, I was on the right track.
It would be a good idea to get your CV checked by a professional. You can do that at the job centre, could ask a recruiter or your teacher at school, it would be the most professional way. You can also ask older students how the system works in Denmark and if they can help you to get on the right track.
Another thing to keep in mind is the structure of the CV. It is different in every country and it changes with time. What worked before might not work now so you need to keep track and find out what recruiters want now. Of course, since this is about a “survival” job, you don’t need to panic too much if your CV is not the best. However you would get more opportunities if it´s in the best shape it could be.
How long does it take to find a job? It depends of various factors, such as your network, your work experience (if you have any), luck, your personality (we all know that some people are better at talking to others and making themselves known). Others aren’t , that makes the job search longer or shorter, but that does not mean it will never happen. Usually it takes from a few weeks to a few months to find a job in Denmark. Just don’t give up! The most important for an employer is to see that you are a hard worker. Its even more important than work experience.
The language is a true struggle. Jobs such as a sales assistant are quite hard to find, because they require you to know the Danish language. This of course limits the job search, but there are dozens of other jobs that only require English, such as hospitality positions in big chain hotels ( kitchen, waitress, housekeeping, etc ), there are none danish speaking employees, working in the reception and all other positions.
Since we work in an international environment, because of the language barrier, we don’t get to experience the Danish culture to it’s fullest, it´s instead an international culture. Of course there are differences, but also very different from a Danish environment.
So there are a lot of opportunities, but it takes time, perseverance and a lot of research. You will find a job eventually and after that life will be a little easier, because in Denmark salaries are quite good. 😀
So good luck in your search!
Christiana has a BA degree from her home country and came to Denmark to study Service management, hospitality and tourism and Sports management in Copenhagen. She’s lived in Japan, and now lives in London, UK.
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